Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1075

January Session, 2009

 

LCO No. 3945

 

*03945_______ET_*

Referred to Committee on Energy and Technology

 

Introduced by:

 

(ET)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING COMPETITIVE ELECTRIC SUPPLIERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (k) of section 16-244c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(k) (1) As used in this section:

(A) "Participating electric supplier" means an electric supplier that is licensed by the department to provide electric service, pursuant to this subsection, to residential or small commercial customers.

(B) "Residential customer" means a customer who is eligible for standard service and who takes electric distribution-related service from an electric distribution company pursuant to a residential tariff.

(C) "Small commercial customer" means a customer who is eligible for standard service and who takes electric distribution-related service from an electric distribution company pursuant to a small commercial tariff.

(D) "Qualifying electric offer" means an offer to provide full requirements commodity electric service and all other generation-related service to a residential or small commercial customer at a fixed price per kilowatt hour for a term of no less than [one year] six months.

(2) In the manner determined by the department, residential or small commercial service customers (A) initiating new utility service, (B) reinitiating service following a change of residence or business location, (C) making an inquiry regarding their utility rates, or (D) seeking information regarding energy efficiency shall be offered the option to learn about their ability to enroll with a participating electric supplier. Customers expressing an interest to learn about their electric supply options shall be informed of the qualifying electric offers then available from participating electric suppliers. The electric distribution companies shall describe then available qualifying electric offers through a method reviewed and approved by the department. The information conveyed to customers expressing an interest to learn about their electric supply options shall include, at a minimum, the price and term of the available electric supply option. Customers expressing an interest in a particular qualifying electric offer shall be immediately transferred to a call center operated by that participating electric supplier.

(3) Not later than September 1, 2007, the department shall establish terms and conditions under which a participating electric supplier can be included in the referral program described in subdivision (2) of this subsection. Such terms shall include, but not be limited to, requiring participating electrical suppliers to offer time-of-use and real-time use rates to residential customers.

(4) Each calendar quarter, participating electric suppliers shall be allowed to list qualifying offers to provide electric generation service to residential and small commercial customers with each customer's utility bill. The department shall determine the manner such information is presented in customers' utility bills.

(5) Any customer that receives electric generation service from a participating electric supplier may return to standard service or may choose another participating electric supplier [at any time, including] during the qualifying electric offer, without the imposition of any additional charges. Any customer that is receiving electric generation service from an electric distribution company pursuant to standard service can switch to another participating electric supplier and return to standard service at any time without the imposition of additional charges by the electric distribution company.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) On or before January 1, 2009, the Department of Public Utility Control shall conduct an uncontested proceeding to consider giving municipalities the authority to form aggregation compacts that would allow them to operate regional energy efficiency programs modeled on Massachusetts's Cape Light Compact. The department shall report the findings of such proceeding, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy.

Sec. 3. Section 16-245s of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2009):

(a) No electric distribution company shall submit or execute a change in a customer's selection of an electric supplier unless the change has been confirmed by one of the following: (1) [An independent third-party] A recorded telephone verification that is subject to an audit; (2) receipt of a written confirmation received in the mail from the customer after the customer has received an information package confirming any telephone agreement; (3) the customer signs a document fully explaining the nature and effect of the change in service; or (4) the customer's consent is obtained through electronic means, including, but not limited to, a computer transaction.

(b) [Third-party telephone] Telephone verification shall [be in accordance with the following procedures: (1) The electric supplier seeking to verify the change shall do so by connecting the customer by telephone to the third-party verification company or by arranging for the third-party verification company to call the resident to confirm the sale; and (2) the third-party verification] include, but not be limited to, the company [shall obtain] obtaining the customer's oral confirmation regarding the change [,] and [shall record] recording that confirmation by obtaining appropriate verification data. The record shall be available to the customer upon request. Information obtained from the customer through confirmation shall not be used for marketing purposes. The verification procedure in this subsection shall not apply when a residential customer directly calls an electric distribution company to make changes in electric supplier service, provided an electric supplier shall not avoid the verification procedure by asking a residential customer to contact an electric distribution company directly to make changes in electric supplier service. [For purposes of this section, "third-party verification company" means a company that: (A) Is independent from the electric supplier that seeks to provide the new service; (B) is not directly or indirectly managed, controlled or directed or owned wholly or in part by (i) an electric supplier that seeks to provide the new service, or (ii) any corporation, firm or person who directly or indirectly manages, controls or directs or owns more than five per cent of such supplier; (C) operates from facilities physically separate from those of the electric supplier that seeks to provide the new service; and (D) does not derive commissions or compensation based upon the number of sales confirmed.]

(c) Any violation of this section shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b.

(d) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to address abusive switching practices by suppliers.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

16-244c(k)

Sec. 2

from passage

New section

Sec. 3

July 1, 2009

16-245s

Statement of Purpose:

To facilitate electric retail customer choice.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]